January 1, 2011
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
The Keystone State Wrestling Alliance began its journey as Pittsburgh's wrestling organization on February 18, 2000. In the main event that day, Skippy Hawke defeated “The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard for the KSWA Heavyweight Title. Also on the card, “The Misfit” Jeff Lockhart defeated “Dr Devastation” Lou Martin by disqualification. More than 10 years later, Blanchard and Martin won the KSWA Tag Team Championship in front of a packed Lawrenceville Moose.
It's been a wild, wacky and oftentimes wonderful ride as the KSWA celebrates its first 10 years as Pittsburgh's source for professional wrestling.
In its first year, the KSWA hosted seven events at three different locations, including its first “home,” the Bloomfield VFW. In 2010, there were 19 events in seven different locations, including “The Home of Professional Wrestling in Pittsburgh, the Lawrenceville Moose.”
The KSWA has long been recognized as the region's top organization, and the group has reached out to more fans than any promotion other than the legendary Studio Wrestling stable. But it wasn't until Pittsburgh City Council—namely Councilman Bill Peduto—stood up and recognized the KSWA, could any official declaration be made.
On Saturday March 27, the date of the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament, Councilman Peduto stood in the center of the ring and proclaimed that date “KSWA Day in the City of Pittsburgh.” And two days later, members of the KSWA descended upon Council Chambers to be officially recognized by officials.
On that day, new KSWA Hall of Famer Dominic DeNucci accompanied members of the group to City Hall for the proclamation. Councilor Peduto was taken aback by DeNucci's sudden appearance. “In many years of doing these, I've surprised a lot of people,” Peduto said. “This is the first time I've been surprised.”
On March 27, DeNucci and Donna Christianello were inducted into the KSWA Hall of Fame. Christianello helped pave the way for such female wrestling icons as Wendi Richer, as well as the bevy of “Divas” who are on television each week. Christianello became the first, and so-far only female member of the KSWA Hall of Fame.
Members of the KSWA locker room headlined Deaf WrestleFest, the region's top inter-promotional event. Hosted by Ken Jugan, Deaf WrestleFest brings the best of the best from the entire region together in one super show. The VIPs took on Kris Kash, Justin Sane and the-then brand-new KSWA Heavyweight Champion The Latin Assassin.
As has been the case in recent years, the KSWA has been showcased during the Independence Day celebration at Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville. The event has long been a favorite amongst the 4th of July festive crowd and this year was no exception.
In September the KSWA was honored to be part of the Paul J. Scuillo Memorial events, with a Wrestling Event. Paul J. Scuillo II, Eric Kelly, and Stephen Mayhle were three Pittsburgh Police Officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty. Scuillo's cousin, Eric Crouse, helped promote the event that stellar evening. The event featured debut appearances by Doink the Clown and Pittsburgh sensation, “The Franchise” Shane Douglas. Douglas' match with VIP member Double-A Anthony Alexander has been nominated as a “Match of the Year” candidate. Tables were smashed in that epic battle.
The KSWA continues to support Millvale Days, the two-day community celebration of a suburb right across the Allegheny River from the Lawrenceville Moose. For five years the KSWA has featured popular matches annually—free of charge—for wrestling fans all over. Each year Megastars in the KSWA march in the Saturday morning parade for the main day of activities. Annually, the “King of Millvale” Battle Royal is a highlight of the entire festival.
This year the KSWA traveled to nearby Sharpsburg to assist in a fundraiser that turned out to be wildly popular.
And the KSWA calendar culminates each December with FanFest, an incredibly large (and increasingly larger) exhibition. Each year ticket prices are slashed and the Krazies are encouraged to bring a new toy for needy children in Allegheny County. This year the fans responded in record numbers. Thanks also in part to a donation by Lawrenceville United, a community group that hosted a Christmas party the night before, some 933 toys were collected.
In addition, the FanFest crowd crushed last year's attendance record, up to 425 from 373 in 2009. Former Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Lanny Frattare was the guest ring announcer for a match. Wrestlers from regional organizations came to check out the KSWA and there was Peduto as well.
The Keystone State Wrestling Alliance is Pittsburgh's Wrestling Organization and the entire organization is eagerly awaiting the next 10 years and it begins on January 15, 2011 at the Home of Professional Wrestling, the Lawrenceville Moose! .